Saturday 26th January 2013 – Onions and Shallots are go!

Just spent the last hour and a half in the greenhouse planting as many onions and shallots as I could. I’ve now run out of toilet rolls, so will have to plant the rest in small pots. It’s only when you’re doing this that you realise how many you actually ordered. Quite a lots as it happens. We do go through a fair amount anyway, so they’ll get used. The sun was shining today and the sky blue. Most of the snow has melted, so back to normal now. The varieties of shallot were “Golden Gourmet” and the onions were “Stuttgarter Giant” and “Sturton“. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

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18 Responses to Saturday 26th January 2013 – Onions and Shallots are go!

  1. Are these seeds? Only I ordered onion sets a month or two back and they’re waiting in the cupboard under the stairs to be planted when it gets warmer. Actually I rather over-ordered to the tune of 1500! Not sure how that happened, but as we lost around a third of our crop to rot this year I suppose it’s best to over-plant.

    • No they’re all sets. I’ve tried seeds before, but they take so long, and I’m a very impatient gardener. Good luck with the 1500 you ordered. I didn’t order that many, but at least they’ll keep you going for a while.

  2. I start them now in half toilet rolls and leave them in the greenhouse until March when the soil is warm enough, then I plant them out with what is left of the roll. I find that this way they become established before you put them in the soil and therefore the birds don’t take them away. If any have not either rooted or sent up green shoots then I discard them as they’re not good. I’ve done this for the last few years and I get better onions.

    • Good tip! Bit late for me though as I don’t have enough toilet rolls put aside. Although with 1500 sets I’ve got some spare for when and if the birds strike! Think I’ll also be giving some away to fellow allotmenteers.

      • If you have a solid seed tray, you could start them off in there. Just space them about 1 inch appart. They’ll then start to sprout, but be careful when you move them to the soil. Give the compost a good water and the compost should fall off.

  3. cheramiferme says:

    Ian are you sure you mean 1500 that a lot of onions.

    • I’ve never planted that many onions, but Im sure Ian can cope with that amount. He may be dreaming about onions later on in the season.

    • I think someone made a mistake on the order. Either me or the seed company. Unless I was feeling particularly ambitious! I thought I’d ordered 3 bags of 150 but seem to have got 3 of 500. I grew around 300 last year but lost about a third of them in storage, so I’m planning on planting about 600 this year. I may pot some up like Claire in reserve in case the birds get them, and the rest I’ll give away to fellow allotmenteers. Think I may also pot up some garlic too as I’m not sure all those that I planted late November have survived. Time will tell, but it’ll be good to have some spare to fill the gaps.

      One question though Claire – I thought Garlic needed a frosting to bifurcate the bulbs. Don’t you lose that if you plant out in Feb?

  4. If you got more than you paid for, then fine. Have got room for them all? There are 2 types of garlic, the autumn and the spring types. I tend to get the spring lot, as I’m never sure if they’ll survive in the soil over the winter. I tried it once, but in the garden at home, and they worked. However, the bulbs were no larger than if I’d had planted them in the spring. We still get frosts where I live right up til end of May, so they get a good blast of cold weather.

    • Didn’t know that. Do they say which they are on the packet? This year I just planted some I saved from what I grew last year. Those were bought from Dobies. Don’t think they said when they should be planted so I just put them in at the end of December. Seemed to do OK apart from they got a bad attack of rust around June. I’m just hoping they’ll grow again this year. Worried a bit that I should have just bought some more rather than using some of my own. But the idea of perpetual garlic appeals to me!

  5. Most seed catalogues and garden centres tend to sell Spring garlic. If you’re wanting autumn planting ones then you need to go to a specialty place like “The Garlic Farm”. They’ll do all types as their name suggests.

    • So as I planted all mine last year in December, I’m assuming you can plant spring garlic in the autumn/winter as well? I just bought them from the garden centre around October. Think it said on the packet that they should be planted by December, although I may have just assumed that from all the different planting guides I’d read.

      • If the ground is dig-able, then you can put them in. When the shops and catalogues have them in or dispatch them, then it’s time for planting. If there’s going to be a really hard frost, then I’d cover them in a cloche, just for a bit of extra protection. You could always start them off in a cold frame, as they don’t mind being moved in March time. That way they’re exposed to the cold, but are protected by any harsh weather.

      • Thanks for all the advice Claire. I just stuck ’em in the ground and left ’em to it last year! Maybe I was just lucky. Hope I get away with it this year too, otherwise it’s going to be shop bought garlic for us again. Only time will tell. Fingers crossed.

  6. Let me know how they grow. I’m sure they’ll be fine,maybe I’m just a bit cautious with garlic.

    • cheramiferme says:

      I wonder if there is a way of storing the sets for next year, I have read something about planting them for a short while till they double in size then pull them up and dry them. Never done it but maybe its possible with that many it’s worth a try at anything.

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